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World

U.S envisions proactive role for Pakistan in Afghanistan after troop withdrawal

  • The United States intends to "stay in the game" in Afghanistan, and envisions a proactive role for Pakistan in this process - stressing that it is in Islamabad's interest to participate.
  • Blinken stated that "We’re pulling our forces out of Afghanistan, we are not withdrawing. We are not leaving. We are remaining deeply engaged when it comes to supporting Afghanistan — economically, development assistance, humanitarian, supporting its security forces".
Updated 07 May 2021

The United States intends to "stay in the game" in Afghanistan, and envisions a proactive role for Pakistan in this process - stressing that it is in Islamabad's interest to participate.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined his strategy for sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan after American and NATO troops formally withdraw from the war-torn country.

Blinken stated that "We’re pulling our forces out of Afghanistan, we are not withdrawing. We are not leaving. We are remaining deeply engaged when it comes to supporting Afghanistan — economically, development assistance, humanitarian, supporting its security forces [...] we’re staying in the game".

Secretary Blinken argued that the Biden Administration's withdrawal plan would be an "eye-opener" for all regional "free riders", adding that "the decision has concentrated the minds of pretty much everyone inside and outside of Afghanistan and the region as well. For the last 20 years, they’ve been — to some extent — free riders on us, on Nato, on our partners".

Blinken articulated that “They now have to decide, including Pakistan, where their interests lie, and, if they have influence, how to use it", adding "I don’t think a single neighbour of Afghanistan’s, starting with Pakistan, has an interest in the country winding up in a civil war, because that would produce a massive refugee flow [to Pakistan]", in addition to "the export of extremism, of drugs, et cetera".